Brad Shepherd, Oakland Mills, baseball

Q & A --

March 28, 2007|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,Sun Reporter

Asenior catcher in his fourth varsity season, Brad Shepherd of Oakland Mills earned second-team All-Metro honors last season after batting a county-high .545 with 17 extra-base hits and 22 runs. Shepherd was called up to varsity early in his freshman season and has started ever since. While baseball is his favorite sport and the one he will pursue in college, he also was a two-year varsity player in football and basketball for the Scorpions. Maintaining a 3.7 grade point average, Shepherd is the National Honor Society vice president and a member of the school's computer science team.

What are your responsibilities as vice president of the National Honor Society? Right now, we're trying to raise $5,000 for a school in Africa. Our principal sponsors the school every summer, so we're trying to get them a building. I coordinate a lot of the activities, keep track of all the service hours. I take all the notes. In years past, the NHS has just been more like a ceremonial group, and this is the first year that we've really [tried to] do something for a community.

How long have you been behind the plate? I've always played some catcher, but it was never my No. 1 position. In eighth grade, I just came up to look around at the school, and came by to look at the varsity baseball team back then and saw it looked like they needed a catcher. So I decided, "Hey, I'll start working on my catching and maybe I can get on varsity." Since then, it's just been what the team needs most. I can play first base, I can play outfield, I can play third base, I can pitch. I may actually have to pitch some games this season, which is unfortunate.

What's the biggest challenge as a catcher?

Working with the pitchers. For some of the younger guys, it's like trying to get them over the mental hump of dealing with the rigors of playing varsity ball.

What was the key to the successful season you had last spring?

I really had a great situation last year because I had seniors behind me who took the attention in the earlier part of the year. Everyone knew them. So they kind of forgot about me. It helped me get off to an unbelievable start. I was seeing a lot of good pitches. ...

What are you trying to get out of your senior year at Oakland Mills?

I'm just trying to enjoy it. ... I'll miss the people - the teachers and all my friends here. I grew up less than a mile away from the high school my whole life. It's just going to be different.

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